In Focus: Clinton, Trump Spar over Jobs in First Debate

By Dana Wilkie and Allen Smith September 27, 2016

In their debut presidential debate, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Monday clashed over whose economic plan would create the most jobs in the country, with the former secretary of state insisting that hers would create 10 million jobs, while Trump's would cost the nation 3.5 million jobs.

According to CNN, Clinton was quoting a report from Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics, which said the nation's economy would grow by 10 million jobs under Clinton's plan, but lose 3.4 million under Trump.

Zandi, however, found the economy would add 7.2 million jobs even if Clinton didn't do anything. So her plan would boost job growth by about 3 million jobs. Zandi said a more accurate comparison to the 10 million jobs created under Clinton would be 400,000 jobs lost under Trump, not 3.4 million.


U.S. Jobs Going to Mexico

Trump said that because of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), U.S. manufacturers have moved operations—and jobs—to Mexico. Since 2000, according to CNN, America has lost 5 million manufacturing jobs for a variety of reasons, particularly cheaper labor overseas and technology.

Robert Scott, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, estimates that the U.S. lost roughly 800,000 jobs to Mexico between 1997 and 2013. Scott cites NAFTA as the key driver of job losses. But some economists have criticized Scott's calculation, CNN reports.


Implicit Bias

Clinton said that implicit bias—attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner—is a "problem for too many of us," not just the police. She suggested that police need retraining. Hidden bias also can affect hiring and promotion decisions in other lines of work.

(SHRM Online

Trump's Ideas for Change in the Workplace

Trump called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) "one of the worst things to happen to manufacturers." And he called NAFTA "the worst trade deal ever signed in this country." He criticized the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as well.  His criticism of trade deals has been a theme during his campaign, and he criticized Clinton for flip-flopping on the TPP. Clinton said she had originally hoped the TPP would be a good deal, but opposes the final version.

(SHRM Online

An Overview of Clinton's Workplace Positions

Clinton highlighted her support for raising the national minimum wage, providing equal pay for equal work and providing paid family leave funded through higher taxes on the wealthy—familiar themes in her campaign. She criticized Trump's plans as "trumped-up trickle-down" and said that investing in the middle class, rather than helping wealthy people, is how to grow the economy.

(SHRM Online

Trump vs. Clinton on Health Care

Of all the issues debated by the Trump and Clinton campaigns, few offer a clearer picture of the candidates' philosophical differences than health care coverage. While Clinton says her goal is to preserve and build on the Affordable Care Act, Trump has made clear his intention is to repeal current legislation and replace it with a system that requires less federal government support.

(SHRM Online)

Trump vs. Clinton on Equal Pay for Equal Work

Ensuring that employers provide equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender, has traditionally been a priority of the Democratic Party, while Republicans historically have pushed back on laws that would potentially infringe on an employer's ability to reward its workforce primarily on the basis of merit. Those positions have held true so far in the 2016 presidential election season.

(SHRM Online


Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Search Jobs


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect

HR Daily Newsletter

News, trends and analysis, as well as breaking news alerts, to help HR professionals do their jobs better each business day.